Checklist: (n) a list of things to be done
A checklist is most effective if it is written, attached to a clipboard, with a pen or pencil nearby to cross off things that have been accomplished. Without all these ingredients, it is very similar to writing an essay on “What I Would Do If I Lived on the Moon.”
In other words, well-intentioned but impractical.
The reason people are afraid of organization is that it demands we organize. In organizing, we lose two very essential units of our egotism:
- The power to be completely spontaneous
- And the erroneous notion that we are so smart we will remember everything we need to do.
Therefore, on this issue there are three kinds of people:
- Those who have a checklist but never use it
- Those who refuse to make a checklist because it’s demeaning and stupid
- And those who have a checklist who do not mind being considered stupid or find it demeaning–because they get things done.
It is completely alright to be suspicious of anyone who likes a checklist. After all, it’s weird–similar to coming into the acquaintance of a nine-year-old boy who likes wearing his bicycle helmet.
But it is very important–whether fretfully, fearfully or faithfully–for us to pursue the organization of our thoughts the very moment that inspiration is delivered to us, and use ink or pencil to memorialize them for all time.
Or at least until we have the erotic pleasure of crossing them off of our list.